Why do some animals seem to know before we do that a storm’s coming? One theory is that they can sense changes in barometric pressure.
For house pets, as well as animals in the wild, tiny environmental changes warn of danger, and instinct tells them to flee. But even when safely indoors, many animals are frightened by thunder. Here are some tips for weathering those inevitable storms:
- Let cats hide. Make sure your cat has access to its favorite hiding place and let it stay there until the storm’s over. Otherwise, frightened cats may bite or scratch to defend themselves.
- Create a safe place for your dog. If it feels safest under your bed, make sure your dog has access to your bedroom.
The Humane Society of the United States suggests creating a hiding place that’s small, dark and shielded as much as possible from frightening sounds. Put some food near the hiding place so your dog will associate it with pleasant experiences. And encourage it to go there as soon as you hear thunder rumbling in the distance. Never force your pet to go to the hiding place, and be sure it’s not trapped there and can leave at any time.
- Help your pet relax with a supplement. Calming products, like Pluto Pet’s Pet Calming Spray, will relieve your animal’s fear and nervousness. Made from natural ingredients, it acts quickly, causes no side effects and meets all Food and Drug Administration guidelines for good manufacturing practices.
- Create white noise. HSUS suggests turning on a fan, radio or television near your animal’s hiding place to block out the sound of thunder.
- Distract your pet. A game of fetch, for example, can take the dog’s mind off the thunder.
- Act like nothing’s wrong. If you reassure your pet with treats, HSUS says, it will associate fearful behavior with rewards.
- Don’t crate your pet. A frightened dog can injure itself in a crate.